One glance at the only surviving monastic building complex in London assures you that this is a special place. The Carthusian Monastery, or Charterhouse, was established here in 1371 with 24 monks, and it soon became the centre of learning. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries, a Tudor mansion was built, the only remaining in the City. The monastery’s church was razed to build the Great Hall and Great Chamber, where James I convened his first council on his arrival in London. In 1611 (the date over the gateway), the buildings were bought by Thomas Sutton, a wealthy Yorkshire merchant, who set up a boy’s school and an almshouse to care for “retired gentlemen”, known as brothers. Since then, the almshouse has formally been known as Sutton’s Hospital in Charterhouse and is no home to 40 “brothers”, who act as guides for the visitors. Sutton was buried in the chapel, which dates from the early 15th century and is open to the public for services. www.thecharterhouse.org
This special guided afternoon visit – which took place on Tuesday 7th October at 2.15 PM, was “members only”.